TMB Stage 7

Crazy that we’re already a week into this adventure. It seems like just yesterday we were in Les Houches taking pictures at the starting gate. If all goes according to plan we’ll be back there again in just four more days, this marathon seems to be flying by.

We woke up this morning to the best refugio breakfast so far. Multiple breads, homemade jellies, Nutella, yogurt, granola, cured meats, cheeses, juice, and coffee were all on offer and consumed. Today was a shorter hike to help us recover from yesterday so we didn’t rush to get on the trail, but after breakfast were ready to get going.

We passed several of these bee colonies near La Fouly.

Today’s hike was the first canyon shaped one (as opposed to the mountain shaped hikes we have been doing). This meant we started by hiking down in elevation and then did the climb at the end. We had spotted a good looking crepe place to stop for an early lunch close to the bottom of the descent. Although it was early, and none of us were that tired yet, it was a welcome break.

Within the first 10 minutes of the hike we passed a zip line that the girls all took a turn on.

It also helped that the crepes were the best we’ve had so far. Molly and I split a ham & cheese and a chocolate banana. Both were perfection. One of the funniest surprises of the trip came when both girls took a sip of their “apple juice” and found it to be a hard cider. Molly and I helped them finish their glasses.

The whole of the TMB trail is infested with chats (that’s French for cat). Zoe was nearly mauled by one today, there are fences up all over to keep them in/out, they shit on the trail, they live in rooftop gangs, it’s a real problem. This person built a house for one, presumably to keep it our of their house.

The post-crepe portion of the hike started by taking us through the neighborhood of Praz-de-Fort. I was in awe of the homes there. Most were very old structures of stone and aged timber. However, they had all been updated with modern finishes. The part I loved the most was that they all had unique and functional shutters that added so much beauty and utility.

The rest of the hike was up. It was uncomfortable, but not unbearable. I’m feeling a weird mix of long term exhaustion from doing this every day for a week and long term strength building for the same reason. We still have four days ahead of us, and I know finishing is going to be a challenge, but it also feels within reach.

The uphill portion of the hike was lined with carvings of forest animals, mushrooms, and forest animals with mushrooms.

After reaching our hotel for the night we did a big batch of laundry in the tub and hung it to dry in the basement. Finger crossed it’ll be dry by tomorrow. We walked 10 minutes or so to the lake where the girls took a pedal boat ride while Molly and I had a drink. It’s been fun to see the girls together, right now they’re lying in their respective twin beds with an episode of The Simpsons playing on a phone between them.

The girls pedal boating on Champex-Lac.
And wading.

Dinner tonight was a bit of a thing. Somehow in all of my notes about our plans I’d written that dinner wasn’t included with this stay so we made a reservation at a nearby fondue restaurant. As we checked in the person at the desk asked if we had any vegetarian preferences for dinner. Some confusion insued propelled in part by all of us doing our best to speak in two languages. Somehow the end result was that the front desk person’s mom, the chef, would be happy to make fondue for us here, no charge. We felt very guilty as we sat around our giant pot of cheese while everyone else had their salmon, but I’m glad we went for it!

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